Branding vs. Advertising vs. Marketing vs. Public Relations

zag1a_2Not too long ago, a humorous comic strip made its rounds through the internet and was a great illustration of the differences between branding, marketing, public relations, and advertising. While funny, it raised key point that everyone should realize about these four areas.

So let’s break down a simple comic about love-making into a slightly more detailed approach to understanding the differences between these key areas in running your small business.

If he says “I’m a great lover,” that’s marketing.

Marketing is about getting the message out there. You want people to hear the key aspects of what you are about, letting people know who you are and what it is that you do well.

If she says “Trust me, he’s a great lover,” that’s public relations.

Any review you see on Amazon is a form of public relations. But if we stick to the sex illustration, it could go one of two ways. Either someone is trying to get this man laid and is ensuring to her friend that he’s a great lover, or  she is working for him, trying to help get him laid. Either way, word of mouth of going to help influence the decision of someone else.

If he says “I’m a great lover, I’m a great lover, I’m a great lover,” that’s advertising.

Advertising is all about repetition. Also, he’s probably saying this in church or a funeral, as advertising always tends to pop up in places where we really don’t want it.

If she says “I understand you’re a great lover,” that’s branding success.

This is when the woman has come up to the man from across the room and lets him know what she has heard. This is the equivalent of someone coming into your business and telling you that they came to you because they heard that you are the best in the industry. Of course, in both of these illustrations, this is exactly what you’re going for: winning results and a great reputation.

Does anyone else have any slightly inappropriate metaphors to better separate these four often confused areas?

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